c. 1964 Triumph 650cc TR6 Trophy
Frame no. TR6RDU9509
The unique Triumph TR6 Trophy offered here was customised and autographed by the legendary American hot-rod icon and automotive stylist, Von Dutch, recognised by aficionados as father of the post-war California car art movement.
Kenneth Graeme Howard, better known as Von Dutch, was one of the 20th Centurys great eccentrics as well as being a gifted mechanic, artist, pin-striper, metal fabricator, knife maker and gunsmith. Born in 1929, he learned how to paint from his father Wally, a sign-writer working in southern Los Angeles, and in the mid-1950s was instrumental in reviving the lost craft of pin-striping among US customisers. 'Dutch' started striping bikes but as his fame grew he began attracting clients who wanted their cars painted. Business snowballed to such an extent that 'Dutch,' who famously detested money and the commercial side of his work, gave up and went into hiding. He resurfaced around ten years later in Arizona where he made guns and knives as well as continuing his painting and customising career. For a number of years in the mid-sixties people had been asking, Wheres Dutch? to which the reclusive artist responded, Von Dutch 67 Is Still Alive in Calabasas, as lettered on this important custom machine.
In the mid-1970s Dutch moved back to California to take over the job vacated by Ed Big Daddy Roth at the Brucker familys Cars of the Stars and Planes of Fame Museum at Buena Park. When the Museum closed in 1979 Dutch was kept on as custodian of the Bruckers familys private collection in Santa Paula, California, where he died in 1992.
In addition to the famous Von Dutch signature, this important motorcycle features numerous custom features: the rubber gaiters have been removed from the front forks and replaced by chromed shrouds; the tanks knee pads have been removed and Triumph hand lettered in their place; the paintwork is custom throughout, featuring 7-10 different colors creating a fish scale effect - a paint treatment that Von Dutch is known to have employed famously on a 1940 Willys Dragster and a surfboard. In short: the motorcycle offered here represents a rare opportunity to acquire a genuine example of American automotive art created by the father of the movement. Its uniqueness guarantees it to be the star attraction at a wide variety of events including runs, rallies, shows, concours and club events; anywhere, in fact, where the fusion of art and the motorcycle is appreciated by enthusiasts.